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Obey Or Die
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Using Fear To Rule Over Mankind

By James Donahue

We have been watching the Showtime series The Tudors, a relatively accurate historical record of the life and wives of England’s King Henry VIII. When I return to the written biographical accounts of this Sixteenth Century ruler I am overwhelmed by the power the Roman Catholic Church had over the people of Europe, and the way lives were destroyed because people like Martin Luther were in rebellion.

Anyone that plotted against either the Pope or the king, or were even suspected of such a plot, was dragged before a panel of servants to the ruler, usually always declared guilty, and sentenced to death. And the killings were even more despicable during that era than they are today in U.S. prisons. People were hung, beheaded, burned at the stake or oiled alive in oil. And the death sentences were always carried out in the name of Christ. The people involved apparently believed they were doing “God’s will” as they slaughtered common people who were unable to defend themselves.

One would think that Christian believers, after a careful study of the teachings of Christ as recorded in the New Testament, would have more mercy and compassion for others. In The Tudors, King Henry and all of his subjects constantly spoke of loving one another, and serving Christ. They constantly made the Catholic sign of the cross before carrying out their dastardly deeds. And all of them wore crosses on chains around their necks. Yet they killed their so-called “enemies” without restraint. 

King Henry, who entertained six wives during his reign, went so far as to have two of his wives, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard executed. Queen Anne was disposed of because she failed to bear him a son. Queen Catherine was killed because she got sexually involved with other men of the court. In both cases, their executions were carried out in the name of God by men who declared these women sinful “in the eyes of God.”

While humans have always been barbaric creatures, constantly at war with one another throughout history, there is great confusion among the pacifists as to what motivates people of all faiths to kill so blatantly. They all profess to be followers of great teachers who called on all humans to love one another. So we raise our swords against our neighbors “in the name of love.” And this does not make sense.

It appears that there is an even stronger motive operating behind the actions of the old kings, the contemporary rulers and the popes. They believe . . . and perhaps with some justification . . . that the best way to keep the masses in check is through fear of the power of the king.

Indeed, if the Old Testament teaches by example, we can understand why the kings of old thought this way. The God of the Old Testament constantly proclaimed his love for humanity, but was quick to bring down deadly judgments upon those who broke His Laws.

Remember it was God who brought the flood that drowned every person and every animal on the planet except for Noah, his family, and the remnant of creatures they could coax into the ark. God directed the Israelites to slaughter all the people of Jericho, Heshbon, Bashan and various other places. They killed not only the men but the women and children.
 
With all those Old Testament stories lying around for the kings on earth to use as an example for their behavior, it is small wonder that they killed their subjects the way they did.